The Easel

20th March 2018

After “Open Casket”: What Emmett Till Teaches Us Today

A painting of the black victim of a 1950’s lynching, included in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, was bitterly controversial. Debate continues, at a lower volume. Some see the core issue as “treating Black pain as raw material”. The artist thinks the painting is being viewed “out of context”. Perhaps the question they are all getting at is – “who gets to tell a community’s story”.